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EDITOR'S BLOG: Some not-so-top tips for getting a journalism job

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This is probably a bad sign but with just my second blog, I'm already plagiarising (ok, ripping off) the fine work of my colleagues. Having waded through 30-odd CVs for our trainee reporter vacancy in the past few hours, a few things have bugged me.

Both Essex Chronicle editor Nev Wilson and our regional web publisher Rhys Griffiths have expressed their views and gripes on job applications far more lucidly than I'll manage. But, for what it's worth, here's my two penneth-worth and six things to avoid when applying for a job in journalism.
 
1) Get my name right

I'm not an egotist, I'm not saying 'don't you know who I am'. However, for the record, I'd like it to be known that my name is GLENN EBREY, not Glennnnn, not Ebury, Eberrry or, even, Glenn Rubbery (yes, someone did call me that once). Oh, and last time I checked, my name isn't sir/madam.

2) Get the role/paper you're applying for right

A basic, you would think. But, in a competitive marketplace, journos will throw cover letters and CVs around like confetti in their search for a big break. Not too much wrong with this, until your bid to become a sub in the Outer Hebrides ends up on a newsdesk in Sussex.

3) At least sound like you've done some research 

Let's be honest, as much as we'd all love to employ the paperboy/girl who grew up a stone's throw from the office, most hacks are willing to move to get a big break - even if they lack an affinity to the area initially. In this case, do some research and at least sound like you know Croydon. "I haven't been there" or "I haven't had the chance to read up on it" doesn't wash. One word - Google.

4) Check your email address

I'm not one to judge, but if your e-mail address is, say, spongebobsquarepants@yahoo.com it's not a great sign.

5) Avoid jargon at all costs

My biggest bugbear, this. Journalists are supposed to cut through jargon and write in a clear, concise manner. If your covering letter uses 48 words where 5 will do it is, again, not a great sign going forward.

6) Be relevant

I'm sure you were a fine captain of the school's under-14 lacrosse team and I know you loved your time on the meat counter at Sainsbury's, but does that mean you're a great journalist?

Before I sound like a whingeing, faintly pompous bore, I will point out that we've received some excellent, well-researched applications for our current vacancy and there are plenty of dedicated, talented journos out there looking for a big break.

But this job is about research, it's about accuracy and it's about clarity of thought and expression. If your application doesn't reflect this, you'll fall at the first hurdle.

Glenn Rubbery (sorry, Ebrey)


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